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information about Fukushima published in English in Japanese media info publiée en anglais dans la presse japonaise

2015 a "crucial" year for safety

 January 7, 2015

NRA Chief: 2015 will be crucial for nuclear safety



Jan. 7, 2015 - Updated 11:58 UTC+1


The head of Japan's nuclear power regulator says 2015 will be crucial for testing whether nuclear power plants in the country are safe.

Nuclear Regulation Authority Chairman Shunichi Tanaka held his first news conference of the year on Wednesday.

A number of nuclear power plants are likely to be restarted in 2015. They face stricter regulations introduced after the 2011 nuclear disaster in Fukushima.

Chairman Tanaka says the period just after restarting a nuclear power plant is the most important. He said facilities face particularly dangerous risks of accidents or trouble.

He said the reactors, which have been off-line for a long time, have a lot of new safety equipment. He stressed the authority will have to see if the plants can operate it properly. He noted this will make NRA's inspection in the pre-restart phase different than before.

2 reactors at the Sendai nuclear plant in Kagoshima Prefecture are expected to get a restart around March. They would be Japan's first reactors to go back online.

Tanaka said the NRA will carry out careful inspections at the Sendai plant and send staff from Tokyo.

How to handle massive radioactive wastewater stored at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant continues to be a major issue in the new year.

The International Atomic Energy Agency is to assess the NRA this year for the first time since it was launched in September 2012.




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